Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two World was originally released in February 2011 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, proceeded later in the year by Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of two worlds, for the same consoles. In December of 2016 the Ultimate edition of the game was released for the PS4, and now as of March 2017, it is finally available for Xbox one and PC. The game was developed and published by Capcom, with help on the development side from Eighting.
The game revolves around choosing a squad of 3 characters from a large roster of both Marvel and Capcom characters, who are forced to work together to save the world from the almighty Galactus and his henchmen. This plays out through the classic arcade mode, but also in the new ‘Heroes and Heralds’ mode which allows the player to cross off ‘foes’ from a grid, and unlock bonus levels on the way to helping or stopping Galactus, as he tries to devour the earth. Characters include icons from both Marvel and Capcom franchises, such as Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain America, Ryu, Chun-li and Morrigan, with some lesser known characters thrown in as well, such as Taskmaster, X-23 and Firebrand.
There are story elements for each character on the roster, with unique endings being unlocked upon completing the arcade mode with said character. Sadly these story portions don't unlock for your whole team, just the character who lands the final blow, so bear this in mind if you want to unlock certain characters stories. Each story is brief, taking place over a few ‘comic book’ frames, but considering the sizeable roster this is understandable, and still a nice addition to the game.
Combat plays out as most fighting games do, with a collection of button combinations resulting in different ‘combos’ or move sets. However ‘UMVC3’ did things a little differently, with the inclusion of 2 different ways to fight. These mapping options are ‘normal’ and ‘simple’ with the latter requiring less complex button combinations to achieve certain moves or special moves. I think the addition of the ‘simple’ mode is great, as it gives less experienced players a window of opportunity, and allows them to still have fun against people who are highly versed in fighting games and can pull off very complex combos and moves with ease. Making the playing field more even caters for everyone, and still gives the more experienced players the gameplay they know and love.
The game also has multiple game modes, with the classic arcade, online and offline modes, vs (another local player), training, mission, and the newer ‘Heroes and Heralds’ (added with the original release of the ‘ultimate’ version of the game). This game mode adds teams, with the player choosing whether to be on the side of the ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’ and then given a grid sheet of characters to defeat. This mode also adds a card system, with each card having different status effects, and alters the fight in a multitude of ways. Many are based off existing characters from the Capcom and Marvel universes, and therefore the abilities are tailored to be appropriate to said character. Others add more simple effects such as speed boosts or health regeneration.
The classic arcade mode can be played at a variety of difficulties, ranging from very easy to very hard. Personally, I think players who are familiar with fighting games will be fine with the normal difficulty, but for players looking for a challenge, it is definitely present at the higher difficulty tiers. The Boss battle with Galactus can be tricky across most settings, though, and I would recommend familiarising yourself with the block functions before attempting to defeat him.
One of the original grievances with Marvel vs Capcom 3 was that there was a lack of different modes and content, and although 'Heroes and Heralds' was added to relieve these complaints, it is still a relatively small addition and may not fully satisfy those who found the first edition of the game a little light. The newest version of the game doesn’t add anything new from the original release of the ‘ultimate’ version, however, it does gather it all together in disc form, and is sold for roughly half the retail value of new or AAA games. It also upgrades the game to HD, 1080p graphics, and a very smooth 60 fps.
Characters and extras
The game boasts a wide and varied roster of 50 characters, with each and every character having a very different feel and play style. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, unique move sets, and colour variations. This leads to a huge amount of team combinations, with each set of 3 feeling entirely unique. The voice cast also boasts some huge names from the industry, including Nolan North and Jennifer Hale, leading to excellent voice work and dialogue. Some particularly great lines occur when two characters from the same series are facing against each other, or when Deadpool is pitted against just about anyone.
Concept art, comics and the official art book, are also included with the game. I personally found it very interesting looking through the old concept art, and character designs ranging back to the original games in the series, not just focusing on the latest instalment. Detailed action and poses were sketched, and there were some lovely little developer notes along the way. This won’t interest everyone, but as someone who appreciates the behind-the-scenes elements of game development, I really loved these additions.
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 uses a high contrast, cell shaded art style, which works well in creating unity among many different characters from different genres of media. The bright colours and stunning effects create a beautiful, fun game, but can also lead to confusion at times; though usually only briefly. Characters can be ‘juggled’ in the air, sometimes going partially off screen, and when multiple abilities are triggered at once, the screen can quickly become a flurry of colour and almost epilepsy-triggering flashes. Although overwhelming when there is a lot of stimuli on screen, the game is so fast paced that any single graphic never stays present for too long.
The music is catchy, fun and upbeat, matching the games tones perfectly. The triggers and ability noises are also present and clear, but only become annoying when someone spams the same attack, or multiple attacks play out at the same time. The audio has been designed well to keep the player informed, with different announcements for combo breakers, hit streaks, and other important information; which is relayed quickly and efficiently.
Players are given a small amount of customisation via the ‘ID tag’ which is present during any online matches. This works in a similar way to the Call Of Duty tags, where new phrases and imagery is unlocked through continued play. You can also create a default team combination, to save time at the team selection screen.
Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is a colourful, fun and bright fighting game, including some of
the most iconic characters on the planet. This in itself sets it apart from many existing fighting games out there, and although not much has changed since it’s release on last-gen consoles, bringing it to the current console generation is still a great addition to the lineup of fighting games currently available. The ability to hop in at any experience level is a huge advantage, bringing in a much larger player base, and keeping them hooked with the diverse amount of characters, that all play and feel very unique. Although playing can be confusing at times, and you can’t always keep track of your characters, it never takes long to regain your focus and get back into the action. There may not be tonnes of content, but the content that is present is very fun and well crafted. In terms of fighting games, I think UMVC3 is an absolute gem of the genre, and for only £19.99 I would definitely recommend picking it up and inviting some friends over for some crazy colourful fun.
|+ Great graphics||– Lack of content may annoy some|
|+ Good sound design||– Can become disorientating|
|+ Large improved roster|
|+ Good for all skill levels|